This morning I saw Hemant Mehta’s blog about an atypical recent exorcism in Australia.
In this particular case, a ‘foreign’ priest had the parents of a mentally and
physically handicapped child place her on the altar while he then
behaved so bizarrely that both the child, her parents and much of the
congregation was left in tears. In a wonderfully rational response, the
mentally deranged priest was carted off to the looney bin by local
police. Although, the Church insists the self-appointed purifier acted
strangely only because he was ‘foreign’ – origin not given – and that
‘foreign priests are more spiritually inclined'.
If only that were the sum of it. Unfortunately, with a bit more research, we see
that exorcisms in Australia are on the rise due to what the Catholics claim is a
growing interest in Satanism.* Some priests are claiming they must perform a
purging at least every two weeks.
The following is from: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/number_of_exorcisms_on_the_r..., the image from the fictional movie "The Exorcism of Emily Rose".
One priest, who asked to be unnamed for fear of ‘reprisals’ explains, "Being possessed by a demon is terrifying in one's mental and emotional life. Some of these manifestations are extremely powerful, causing people to be plagued by disturbances. They hear voices and see hideous creatures in their sleep.
"There has been a recruitment of pagan practices, and it's sheer
poison.” The priest said the Gold Coast area of the state, which is
in southeastern Queensland, had far more exorcisms than Brisbane, the state capital. Bishop Brian Finnigan, acting head of the Archdiocese of Brisbane, said it was important for the Church to carry out exorcisms. "People need to be freed of that burden," he said, according to the Courier Mail.
Exorcist for the Vatican" src="http://www.traditio.com/comment/com0801b.jpg" align="right"">Father Gabriele Amorth, 82, the pope’s chief exorcist in Rome, is considering plans to have in each diocese a group of priests who are trained in exorcism.
"Too many bishops are not taking this seriously and are not delegating their priests in the fight against the devil. You have to hunt high and low for a proper, trained exorcist," Father Amorth said, according to the Courier Mail.
Priests in Queensland can only carry out an exorcism with the permission of the bishop. The priest who spoke to the Courier Mail said he was the only authorized exorcist in the state.
"We are not very plentiful and certainly need more of us to cope with the big occult following that is emerging today," he said.
"It's frightening what can happen when you invite entities into your life which are not meant to be part of God's world."
The priest claimed one woman he had met had been afflicted by demonic manifestations since taking part in a playground
witch game as a child.
What I find frightening is that this story is on the Catholic News Agency website in this decade – from 2010. How flipping nuts are these people? Sadly, exorcisms have not infrequently resulted in the death of the allegedly bewitched person. Well, that sure worked, didn’t it!
The West Australian news website was less superstitious and rightly more horrified when telling the story:
A bizarre faith-healing ritual has prompted the Catholic Church to warn that an influx of foreign priests had created "difficulties" because they tended to have a more spiritual outlook than Westerners. A horrified congregation watched a foreign-trained Catholic priest lay a mentally and physically disabled girl on an altar during mass at the weekend and order her to walk. The priest was later escorted to a mental health
clinic by police. The congregation is being counselled over the event, which left children and adults in tears.
Vicar-General of Perth's Catholic Archdiocese Brian O'Loughlin (pictured at right) said while the "bizarre and unusual service" was largely due to the priest's mental condition, it highlighted that foreign-trained priests had a more spiritual approach.
Monsignor O'Loughlin said Westerners had a more logical outlook and tended to turn to the spiritual when they could not understand concepts in other ways. He said the approach by African, Asian and Eastern
European-trained priests was sometimes a "difficulty" but while it required adjustment, it was not a problem because overseas priests were an important addition and were welcomed by multicultural congregations.
Catherine Roatch, who saw the faith-healing service, said it appeared to be an attempted exorcism. "He prayed in some gibberish and then started to demand that this girl speak as well as stand up," she said.
"The girl would not have even been able to comprehend, let alone follow instructions. It was very undignified for the young lady and she was just crying, howling at the altar.
"Then the priest just left her there and went back to the microphone and the wailing went on for at least 15 minutes.
"People were getting up and leaving. People were crying and they were angry. The children were terrified."
Ms Roatch claimed the girl's parents had put her on the altar but their support for the ritual was uncertain. They were later seen crying.
Monsignor O'Loughlin said exorcisms were a legitimate part of the Catholic religion but were not allowed in regular services and could only be performed by appointed priests.
While the Church did not condone the bizarre service, he said it was standing by the priest in his time of need, though he would not be allowed to give mass until he was better.
Well, thank goodness for that, at least! We don't want nutcases performing masses, now, do we?
Locally the situation seems no better. The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, which calls itself the oldest medical society & the oldest steward of American Medicine, and self-identifies as the “Birthplace of
American Medicine”, claims to offer insight into medicine’s past, present and future. One wonders who was thinking what when they booked Kathleen Sands, PhD to lecture there in April 2010 on the history of possession - and who argues that possession is indeed real. If we're seeing this in our medical arena, what hope is there for reason to prevail among non-professionals?
It is an extraordinary giant retreat back to the Dark Ages – remember them? When knowledge and scientific endeavor took a nose dive under the creeping spread of dictatorial theocracy? - to continue this crippling practice. How can exorcism be going on in the – ahem – twenty-first century? How can the harm done to the victims of religious indoctrination - both mental and physical damage - be permitted in what we consider a modern world? Where is the legal protection for minors, at the very least? Thankfully, when caught, those who participate in lethal exorcism are usually jailed. As murderers.
That's because we now know that being mentally retarded, or crippled, or schizophrenic, or different in other ways are symptoms of very earthly problems. There are no demons, nor demons possessing anyone...
except perhaps those who think they can drive them out! Where's the lithium when they need it?
Finally... lest we wonder too long about the seemingly senseless motivation for continuing this
barbaric custom – there are fees associated
with exorcism. An online search revealed costs range from ‘a donation to the church’ to $11,000 per attempt. Substantially more profitable than passing that Sunday basket, isn’t it?
That 'Good Old Satan' can really be a handy dude at times.
* - This reporter could find claims of rising interest in Satanism only on Catholic, fundamentalist Christian, and Satanist websites, none of which were truly credible.
All images directly linked to source